How to Use Cydia Impactor to Install iOS Apps on Windows & Mac

How to Use Cydia Impactor to Install iOS Apps on Windows & Mac

Cydia Impactor is one of my favorite tools as it allows me to install any iOS applications I want, especially when a jailbreak is not required. For those of you who didn’t know, this utility was created by Saurik, the founder of Cydia.

With 86% of users already updated to some version of iOS 10, it looks like most of us here are not jailbroken. Which means we have to live with the restrictions on our iOS devices. Luckily, a jailbreak for iOS 10.2 has already been released. In fact, one of the requirements to jailbreak your iOS 10.2 is to use Cydia Impactor. Now that you’re here, read along to find out what this tool does.

Apple only permits apps to go live to the public if they follow the App Store guidelines. That being said, emulators and screen recorders are a BIG no. While they do not harm our device, it’s impossible to acquire one from the official App Store.

However, with the help of Cydia Impactor, you can easily install any apps in the form of .IPA file to your iPhone. We reviewed a lot of these apps on our site and also provided you with dedicated IPA files as well. That’s probably one of the reasons why you landed on this page, to download and find out how to use the tool.

Last but not least, Cydia Impactor is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. This enables everyone to take advantage of it.


  1. Download the latest version of Cydia Impactor from its official site. Don’t forget to choose between the three supporting OS
  2. Locate the installer and open it. For macOS users, just “Drag to install Impactor in your Applications folder”
  3. Connect your iOS device to the computer
  4. Locate the .IPA file that you want to install. I recommend moving it to the Desktop
  5. Open Cydia Impactor; it will recognize your iPhone or iPad
  6. Now, click on the IPA, then drag & drop it over to Impactor. If you do it right, you’ll be asked to enter your Apple ID and password

Once that happens, Cydia Impactor will take control of the rest. All it’s going to do is verify and install the application on your iOS device.

Quick Note: A free iTunes login credentials will only let you sign IPA apps for a week (7 days). After the app certificate expired, the app will crash every time you try to open it. The solution to this problem is going through the tutorial above again. If you want a longer certificate, you can get it by joining the Apple Developer Program, which costs $99 a year.


That’s normal. Usually, the displayed popup should tell you what went wrong.

For example, if you get this Cydia Impactor error:

error 150 impactor image

It means you have two-factor authentication enabled for your Apple ID, and you need to generate an app-specific password instead of using your default iTunes password. To obtain an app-specific password, sign in to here, scroll down toward the middle of the page, and click on “Generate Password…”. Give it a name and click Create.

For more errors like this, check out this tutorial or this one if you’re jailbreaking your iOS device with yalu102.


Are you prompted with the “Untrusted Enterprise Developer” message? Don’t panic. It just a way of saying that you need to let your device know you trust this app.

The way to do it is by going to the Settings app. Tap on General > Profile or Device Management. Select your iTunes email used earlier and choose the app you had trouble opening. Now just tap on the Trust button.

Go back to your home screen, the error should be gone, and you can now open your sideload app.


If you have trouble running Cydia Impactor on a Windows computer:

you definitely need to have iTunes installed for this tool to work (for different reasons).

Do I need to use Xcode for this to work?

Since this is similar to signing an app with Xcode, in fact, it’s much easier; you do not need to have Xcode installed on your macOS machine.


Like I mentioned earlier, a jailbreak for iOS 10.1 and 10.2 has been released by developer Luca Todesco. Unlike the older jailbreak tools that you have seen, this one is packaged into an IPA file. Therefore, you’re going to need Cydia Impactor to install it on your iPhone.

When you do, make sure that the utility is up-to-date. You can check by clicking on the “Check for Update…” menu.

The possibilities with this tool are endless. iOS users are known to use Cydia Impactor to install a modified version of their favorite applications, mostly social network apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Instagram. A modified version of the actual apps that come from the App Store gives users more features and sometimes remove the functionalities that may be unnecessary.


Sideloading is a technique that is used to upload application files (IPA or APK) from local storage to your mobile device without having first to download it from the official app store. You can sideload IPA files through a program like Cydia Impactor or Xcode. You can also sideload apps on the device using a jailbreak method or by using a signing service instead through Apple’s App Store.


The Cydia Impactor application won’t remove, delete, or alter any system files on your iPhone. Rather, it signs the application using the certificate and installs it on the device. However, while you go through the steps, you may come across a few more errors that you will need to know how to fix.


This error is often seen when you are using the Cydia Impactor tool on Windows PC. The error means that the device you are using isn’t communicating with Cydia Impactor or the Apple server as it should.

If this is your first time making a connection, select “trust this computer,” so the communication error won’t happen.


If you have already installed the same app on your device with a different account, you might end up seeing this error. To remedy this error, simply remove the already installed iOS app you have or sign into the app with the same ID.

zip.cpp:321 and zip.cpp:331

When you see either one of these errors, then you may be using an older version of the Cydia Impactor or a bad IPA package. Always make sure you are using the latest and most up to date version of Cydia Impactor. To check this, use the built-in updater by going to Impactor and then check for update.


If you don’t want to use Cydia Impactor for Windows and Mac, there are some alternatives you can consider instead.

AltDeploy: this tool is for Mac only and does what the Cydia Impactor tool does while also bringing in new features that are a bit more polished than Cydia Impactor.

Super Impactor: this is designed for Windows and is considered one of the best alternatives if you can’t use Cydia Impactor. It is a user-friendly app and allows you to install as many iOS apps as you want on your iOS device. It also allows you to install any IPA file without jailbreaking, and you can use as many Apple IDs as you want when you install apps on your Apple device.

3U Tools: this app allows you to easily manage all of your iPhone apps, multi-media files, and more. You can see the status of your iOS device and find information regarding its active jailbreak status, activation, battery life, and more.

vShare Helper: this is another common Cydia Impactor alternative and actually even started out as a Cydia app to install modified apps. It now works without a jailbreak. You can install and uninstall a modified or tweaked app and game, transfer media files between your computer and iOS device, and even recover lost data on your iPhone.

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Bin Nguyen
Bin Nguyen
Passionate tech writer, I been a geek all my life. Love to write and explore new tech